Baseball News: Miguel Cabrera On Pace for 162 HRs and 432 RBIs; Seattle Front Office Still Sucks
Helluvan opening weekend, MLB. Any opening weekend that starts with the Yankees 0-3 has got to be good.*
To be truthful, I didn't watch much baseball this weekend. Friday night I was at F.X. McCrory's in downtown Seattle for Jon Wells' book signing, “Shipwrecked: A Peoples' History of the Seattle Mariners,” which coincided with the M's U.S. opener, in Oakland, against the A's. I left after the M's scrimped together a few runs. They won 7-3, then won again, 8-7, on Saturday. With the games in Japan, they now have a 3-1 record, which is three wins better than I thought they'd be at this point in the season.
Oh, and check out Jon's book. It's nice, cheap and necessary. It's a reminder, as if we need it, of all the eff-ups the M's front office have given us over the years, their astonishing commitment to not winning.**
Saturday, I only caught highlights; Sunday, after an afternoon walk, I was able to catch the last innings of the Tigers/Red Sox game ... which Miguel Cabrera tied with a three-run homer in the 9th, and, after the Red Sox went ahead in the 10th, Alex Avilla ended it, with 2 outs and 2 strikes, with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th. Wow. To paraphrase St. George: Baseball's back, baby!
Tigers could be fun this year. They obviously can't be this fun, otherwise Miguel Cabrera would hit 162 homers and drive in 432. But at this point, they look like the real deal.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox are 0-3, the Yankees are 0-3 (both teams haven't started 0-3 since 1966), and the Twins, my Twins, are also 0-3, against the Orioles, of all teams, which doesn't bode well.
But if there's any indication that the season's young, it's this: Mariano Rivera is 0-1, with a 54.00 ERA.
159 to go.
Ball? Meet launching pad.
* Except for the last time the Yankees started 0-3, of course, which was 1998, when they went on to win 114 games and sweep the Padres in the World Series. According to Joe Torre and Tom Verducci in their book, “The Yanke Years,” they owe it all to a David Cone/Kingdome rant about 1) a Jamie Moyer beanball, and 2) Edgar Martinez swinging on 3-0. Exactly. Edgar being too ungentlemanly and Jamie's 79-mph “beanball.” Cone always was such a baby.
** As if to help prove Jon's point and boost sales, last week the M's front office even objected to Chris Hansen, a hedge-fund manager in the Bay area, spending $300 million of his own money to build an NBA arena located near Safeco Field:
“The proposed Sodo location, in our view, simply does not work,” wrote team Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Lincoln, in a letter Tuesday to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Executive Dow Constantine and members of the Seattle and King County councils. “It would bring scheduling, traffic and parking challenges that would likely require hundreds of millions of dollars to mitigate.”
Local officials seem to disagree with the M's rationale:
County spokesman Frank Abe said Wednesday it's too early to draw any conclusions about transportation impacts, but noted “that after an extensive process the city zoned this area of SODO for stadium uses. Of the potential sites the Mariners suggest, Sodo is the only one served by high-capacity rail, not to mention access by ferries, buses and cars,” he said.
That hasn't stopped someone from engaging in push-polling to change public opinion:
Over the weekend, some local residents received telephone calls that seemed designed to erode support for an arena, said Brian Robinson, the head of ArenaSolution.org. Robinson, whose group has sought the return of the Seattle Sonics since they were moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, said some of his supporters received polling calls asking whether they would support a sports arena over public schools, or a sports arena over low-income housing.
“The Mariners have emerged as the No. 1 opponents to the new arena,” he said.